Norwell District Secondary School graduates received a fine send off at the school’s 2009 Commencement exercises, November 6.
Approximately 140 students paraded across the stage to receive their Ontario Secondary School Diplomas, five graduated from the school’s Community and Work Transition Program, close to 60 earned Grade 12 Honour awards and 48 were named Ontario Scholars for achieving an average of 80 per cent or higher in six Grade 12 classes. Dozens more were recognized with academic awards, scholarships and bursaries.
While the awards give students well-deserved recognition and resume-building credentials, many also give students a financial boost toward post-secondary education.
“It’s nice to be rewarded for hard work,” commented graduate Jacob Bastedo who delivered the valedictory address for the Class of 2009 and picked up awards for Biology, World Issues and Science, as well as the Henry Reed McCullough Scholarship at the commencement exercises.
“There were many times in high school when I thought I should get a part-time job, but decided to focus on school instead. Now, it’s as though school was my part-time job because of the rewards,” he added.
Pamela TarBush, head of Norwell’s guidance department, said about $32,000 worth of cash awards were given out to students at the 2009 Commencement, the vast majority presented by over 50 local businesses, organizations and individuals. Other students received cash through post secondary institutions or government initiatives, such as the National Millennium Scholarship program or Queen Elizabeth II Aiming for the Top Tuition Scholarships. These awards, including one millennium award worth more than $25,000, while recognized at commencement, aren’t included in the above total.
There are a number of ways to contribute to a scholarship, award or bursary, notes TarBush. Individuals, organizations or businesses can arrange through Norwell’s guidance department to have an award set up in their name for students who excel in a specific area. They can also arrange to make either a named or anonymous donation through the Upper Grand Learning Foundation. Either type of contribution can be arranged by contacting TarBush at 519 343-3107.